The Biggest Myths about Alzheimer’s Disease

Biggest Myths about Alzheimer's Disease

One of the greatest concerns of growing older is often the fear of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive condition that gradually robs us of our memories, thoughts, and even our personalities. While it’s common for older adults to joke about “senior moments,” those small lapses in memory where we forget where we parked the car or the name of a recent acquaintance, Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease that causes physical changes to our brains and is much more serious.

Learn the Facts: Debunking the Myths about Alzheimer’s

We are here to provide some Alzheimer’s disease facts to help ease some of your concerns, as well as to set the record straight about this condition. This way, you can better recognize the memory loss that tends to go hand-in-hand with aging, and when something more serious may be going on.

Alzheimer’s Myth #1: Alzheimer’s and dementia are the same things.

While it’s common for the terms Alzheimer’s disease and dementia to be used interchangeably, dementia is the umbrella term to describe the set of symptoms that affect mental cognitive tasks like memory and reasoning. In other words, Alzheimer’s is only one form of dementia, though it is the most prevalent form — the cause of 50 to 70 percent of all dementia cases.

Alzheimer’s Myth #2: Memory loss is a normal part of the aging process.

Your brain goes through changes as you age that can affect your memory, resulting in the comparatively harmless senior moments mentioned above. However, the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease disrupts your daily life and can also cause changes in personality and mood. This is not a normal part of aging.

Alzheimer’s Myth #3: Alzheimer’s only affects seniors.

The majority of Alzheimer’s disease cases show up after age 60, and by age 85, almost half of the population experience at least some memory loss or dementia. And, the older you get, the more likely you are to develop Alzheimer’s. However, early onset Alzheimer’s can show up in middle age. In fact, in some rare cases, Alzheimer’s can affect those as young as 30 years old.

Alzheimer’s Myth #4: You can prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

While lifestyle choices like eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, and keeping your mind challenged can help keep your brain healthy as you age and may aid in delaying the onset of some symptoms, science has not yet discovered a way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Myth #5: If Alzheimer’s runs in your family, you will have it, too.

While research has shown that if a first-degree relative, like a parent or sibling, suffers from Alzheimer’s, you do have a higher risk of developing the disease yourself, but only if you carry the genetic mutation that causes early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s Myth #6: All individuals with Alzheimer’s have a low quality of life.

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease can still lead to engaging, happy lives. Find ways to connect to loved ones in the earlier to middle stages by talking about their past, making photo albums or memory books, or listening to music that reminds them of a certain time in their lives. Even those in the later stages can still participate in activities with the right amount of support and care. Remember to focus on what they can do, and don’t get frustrated when tasks which were simple even the day before become too complicated for them. Keep an open mind and be prepared to adapt or even change gears completely.

Find Compassionate Memory Care at Advent Christian Village

Find personalized Alzheimer’s care and support in Advent Christian Village’s secure memory care neighborhood located within our skilled nursing facility, Good Samaritan Center. Our compassionate staff ensures all residents enjoy the meaningful and vibrant life they deserve. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a personal tour.

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